A Subtle Attack

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Are the good people of North Hempstead being subtly attacked by the Department of Buildings (DOB)? We all wants rules and regulations to keep us safe, but isn’t there a point of diminished returns?

When we the people want to construct or improve our buildings, we must get a permit from the DOB. When an application doesn’t meet the town standards, the DOB issues an “omissions letter” and it numbers these so-called “omissions” accordingly. The town could choose any headline for this letter, but instead it carefully crafts language that attacks people’s deficiencies and impugns their character. Obviously the town would never use this kind of language if it were humble enough to recognize its own deficiencies.

Apparently the town has a double standard where it views the people as beneath it. Evidently, any respect for the people has given way to disdain and contempt or the town would choose more respectful language. To make matters worse, the use of condescending and derogatory language is entirely unnecessary because the town can enforce the code by controlling permits. And to add insult to injury, the use of this insulting language, right on the face page of public documents, reveals arrogance so bold that it doesn’t even make any attempt to conceal itself. America’s amazing stature was certainly not achieved with a brazen and arrogant government like this one.

I’ve been working with the people of North Hempstead as an architect in Westbury for many years. On March 11, 2015, I communicated to a council member that I saw a growing wave of anger and resentment towards the town because of this kind of arrogance and excessive regulation. They responded right away with a request for more detail, so I sent them the extensive list of grievances and examples that I outlined on my website. I went on to argue that there are so many offended people that could form a majority and win council seats. I closed by requesting help to organize their collective voice and I never heard back from them again. Summarily ignoring the people is just plain rude and disrespectful.

It’s vital to identify and eliminate government arrogance because it’s opposite to jurisprudence and results in incompetence and corruption. Dealing with the DOB is a nightmare and costly and the town’s reputation precedes it. Every day more of you see the arrogance and its heavy price. Few buildings are perfect, so the DOB will eventually find you too. How can you protect yourself? Stay current with town elections and campaign for those candidates who will identify and eliminate government arrogance.

–Gary Spinello

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